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A lip and tongue tie release surgery is often referred to as a frenectomy. This procedure is used to correct a congenital condition when the tongue or lip is too tight in a child's mouth, restricting oral function. A tongue or lip tie can lead to difficulty breastfeeding for an infant and other concerns such as dental, digestive, and speech problems.
Does Your Child Have A Lip Or Tongue Tie?
Many children struggle with health and speech issues related to tongue ties and lip ties, but unfortunately, it’s often not identified until later in life.
Tongue-ties and lip-ties are serious conditions in infants and can lead to many oral and overall health risks. Seriously health problems from untreated tongue and lip ties can extend into adulthood and present as migraines, neck pain, shoulder pain, acid reflux, and speech problems.
Breastfeeding babies usually show some or all of the following symptoms when a lip or tongue tie is present:
- Little weight gain and failure to thrive
- No latch or frequently broken latch while breastfeeding
- Makes clicking or smacking sounds while breastfeeding
- Suffers from gas, colic or acid reflux
- Prolonged feeding duration
- Is unable to hold a pacifier in the mouth
- Still unsatisfied after long feeding sessions
- Excessive gumming or chewing the nipple
In older children, symptoms of a lip or tongue tie can include:
- Speech delay
- Trouble sleeping
- Behavioral issues
- Multiple cavities
- Digestive difficulty
- Enlarged tonsils
- Tiring easily while speaking or reading aloud
- Insufficient development of the palate
Treating Tongue Ties And Lip Ties
The procedure may be performed as early as a few days after your baby's birth. Rather than “clipping” ties, Dr. Warcup uses a uses a LightScalpel CO2 laser to quickly sever the tissue of the tie and cauterize the site.
Because a laser is used, the procedure and recover are fast and comfortable for you and your child. Benefits to using a laser instead of traditional "scissors" for this frenectomy procedure include:
- Minimal to no bleeding
- Rapid healing and recovery
- Extremely short treatment time (only 2-3 minutes!)
- Less trauma to the child's mouth
- Rapid healing and recovery
- Minimal chance for the tongue or lip to re-attach
If your baby is having trouble breastfeeding or taking a bottle, they may have a tongue tie and/or a lip tie. This is a condition that can easily be overlooked and is easy for Dr. Warcup to rule out during a pediatric dental exam.
Schedule Your Child's Pediatric Dental Consultation Today
The best way to determine if a lip tie or tongue tie release surgery is necessary for your child is to schedule an appointment with North Texas Smiles as soon as possible. The sooner the tongue and/or lip is released, the easier it will be for your child to adapt to their tongue's new mobility.
Dr. Warcup is highly trained to treat and help maintain your child's oral health from infancy through their teen years. Call our Fort Worth pediatric dental office to schedule your child's appointment today!